K18 has been making headlines in our Kline PRO U.S. database, with revenue growth in excess of 100% in 2021. Granted, the brand was barely a blip on the radar of Kline PRO in December of 2020, with just one item — Khairpep K18peptide Mask — for sale. Then, in January 2021, a rebranding of the product, which included a name change to K18 leave-in molecular hair mask, brought a tripling of sales, followed by a tenfold increase in February. Sales through the year continued to rise, culminating in K18 breaking into the top 100 best-selling brands of 2021.
Just what is this item, and why is it performing so well? While it appears that the brand came out of nowhere, a decade of research went into discovering K18Peptide, which the company has patented. K18Peptide is said to reach the core of hair’s keratin or polypeptide chains and reconnect the broken ones, effectively restoring hair to over 90% of its strength and elasticity.
The factors that make this product exceptional compared to others and popular among consumers, as well as stylists for in-salon treatments, include its four-minute action claim. It also achieves results with just one step.
Beyond offering appealing product features, K18 engaged with consumers via the #K18HairFlip Challenge on TikTok. Entrants showcased their best hair flip set to a song custom-made by K18, all for a chance to win a Sephora shopping spree and a K18 in-salon service.
Currently, K18’s retail success rests on the one item that, in addition to a 50ml full size, is available in a 15ml travel size and a 5ml try-it size. A total of 73% of sales stem from the try-it size; this year will tell if the trials convert to larger sizes or if K18 adds new items. On a larger scale, the buzz around K18 may attract the attention of companies looking to expand their portfolio through acquisition.
Kline PRO will continue to keep an eye on the performance of K18, along with more than 1,200 other salon retail brands in the United States and Canada. Salon retail and service findings for 2021 are available now, with Q1 2022 being released later this month.